There’s a lot of terrible stuff that comes with having a kid but one thing I hadn’t anticipated was the crying. Not the kid’s crying. That’s also terrible, but everyone hates that. I’m not even talking about that. I’m talking about my crying.
I’ve never been a particularly weepy person. As a child I don’t remember crying much–I have a memory of getting teary eyed at the end of “The Fox and the Hound” which was one of my favorite Disney movies. In junior high I read “Of Mice and Men” and wound up crying a little both when the dog is killed, and then later at the end which I will not give away in case for some reason you are living in a bomb shelter or on a deserted island and don’t know the ending to “Of Mice and Men.” I remember getting teary eyed at the fate of Old Dan and Little Ann while reading, “Where the Red Fern Grows.” Clearly I have a thing for dogs.
Cut to: present day. I am in my early thirties. I just had a baby. I have no idea what happened to me, but suddenly I break into tears the way Jimmy Fallon used to break into hysterical laughter on old SNL skits. I’m like that kid from the popular “Reasons my son is crying” blog, but instead of a 2 year old crying because “his juice is in the wrong cup,” I’m a full grown adult crying because we ran out of seltzer and I feel so terrible for not remembering to buy more seltzer the other day when I was out and what is WRONG with me?
That being said, here are (in no particular order):
THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME CRY IN THE PAST THREE MONTHS.
1.) The fact that in the past few episodes of Game of Thrones, Bran’s voice dropped.
Here’s a show that gives you ample reasons to be sad or shocked or COMPLETELY HORRIFIED AT WHAT IS HAPPENING and yet the one thing that moved me to tears was the fact that Bran’s voice just got lower. That’s it. That’s why I cried. Because he’s…you know…growing up. The scenes I cried at aren’t even sad scenes. He’s just talking and I’m overcome with emotion at how grown up he sounds.
2.) That You Tube video with the kid that won’t eat his octopus
I’m probably not the only person that thought this was sweet, but I’m guessing most people didn’t break into tears while watching it. I not only cried while watching the video, I cried while showing the video to two other people and then a few days later in the supermarket I cried when I walked past the fish counter because they were selling octopus.
3.) The baby grew out of a shirt I liked
Because I have all those memories of him wearing that shirt for the five weeks he fit into it and that’s all behind me and he’ll never fit into that shirt again. Ever. And because it was a good five weeks, but did I really treasure the time like I was supposed to be treasuring it? I’M NOT SURE THAT I DID.
FYI: It was not even a particularly nice or interesting shirt.
4.) The Pieta
I don’t even remember where I saw the Pieta in the past few months—I guess there was a picture of it in a book or a magazine I was reading. If you haven’t seen it it’s a sculpture by Michelangelo of Mary holding Jesus’s body after the crucifixion. And here’s the thing– I’m not a religious person. And I actually saw the real Pieta when I was in Italy where my husband said, “The Pieta has always been my favorite statue—what’s your favorite statue?” and after spending five minutes baffled that I married a person who had a “favorite statue” I told him I guessed my favorite statue was the one in front of Bob’s Big Boy because you can climb on it. How I went from someone who is fairly unmoved by the actual Pieta to someone who cries hysterically while looking at the Pieta’s Wikipedia page, I have no idea.
5.) The Elton John song, “I’m Still Standing.”
I cried at this because I was so proud of the narrator. Because he’s still standing. That’s the whole reason.
6.) Someone described that scene from Grosse Point Blank where John Cusack holds the baby
I want to make clear that I was not even watching Grosse Point Blank recently. But a friend of mine had just seen it for the first time and started describing that scene where John Cusack holds the baby at the reunion and the baby’s just looking at him and it smiles and it’s like a turning point for the entire movie. And here’s the thing—I didn’t even remember the scene because I saw Grosse Point Blank in the theaters back in 1997 and aside from the fact that it was “a good film” and “I enjoyed it” I failed to commit most of it to memory. But someone goes, “Hey remember this scene?” and even thought I don’t remember it I without hesitating break into tears because it was probably really touching.
7.) A video of a mother otter whose baby otter got eaten by Killer whales
That video where a mother otter’s baby has been eaten by a pack of Killer whales and she climbs onto a boat for safety and then spends the rest of the video either crying while looking out at the ocean or jumping off the boat and swimming around looking for her baby and then coming back to the boat and crying more and obviously I just fucking lost it.
8.) I bought the wrong hangers.
My husband asked if I’d buy him those good quality metal pants hangers from Bed Bath and Beyond and I did but I bought the ones where the hook was too small and didn’t fit around the bar in our closet so I had to return them. I cried at this the way normal people would cry watching the ending to “Ordinary People” and the whole time he kept going, “It’s fine! It’s really fine! Why are you crying? I’m not upset about the hangers! I don’t understand!”
9.) The part in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat where he makes peace with his brothers
You might remember this as “the part that no one has ever cried at.” In the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” there’s a scene where Joseph wants to test the brothers who almost murdered him but then decided just to sell him into slavery. So he pretends the youngest brother, Benjamin, has stolen his cup and threatens to throw Benjamin in jail and all the brothers break into a hip, calypso-style song in which they declare that Benjamin couldn’t possibly have done stolen anything and Joseph should spare him and take them instead. And Joseph is so happy they didn’t decide to metaphorically sell Benjamin down the river that he forgives them for plotting to murder him and all of the brothers become friends. I may be the first person in the history of time to cry at something while calypso music was playing.
10.) My life and what the hell I’m doing with it
What the hell am I doing with my life? I have a three month old baby at home and I’m running all over the city asking 25 year-olds I barely know to please book me on their comedy shows. I probably should have cried about this eons ago but the realization that I have no idea what I’m doing didn’t fully kick in until about March of this year.
And there it is. My big ten. So if you’re sitting at home in your living room feeling like your life is pathetic, know that I’m staring out the window anthropomorphizing a tree and getting teary eyed “being a tree must be lonely.”